What should I do when I sold alcohol to a minor? 9 Answers as of February 13, 2012

There was a sting operation where I work. I was on the register, missed by one digit while I checked ID and sold beer accidentally to a minor. My question is, am I eligible for pre-trial diversion program or deferred entry of judgment? If yes, which one and who can I ask to? DA or the court? Its my first time for any misdemeanor and don’t have enough money to hire lawyer.

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
You should have an attorney represent you and if you cannot afford one the court will appoint one for you. There are a number of collateral consequences to such a charge including possible driving license suspension and loss of your license to sell alcohol.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/13/2012
Attorney at Law | Dorinda Ohnstad
In California deferred entry of judgment only pertains to drug related charges, which this offense is not, nor is there a pretrial diversion program that you are eligible for. Be sure to ask for a court appointed attorney at the time of arraignment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/13/2012
Robert Mortland
Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
You could ask for a deferred entry from the DA but some counties will not offer this unless in extreme situations.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/13/2012
Attorney at Law | Ernest Krause
Don't plead guilty or no contest.? Did the minor look like he/she could be 21? Can you establish how long you have worked in bars, to establish your good record?? Get the "discovery," evidence against you, from the district attorney. Read it, maybe something is wrong with the reports. If you lack money ask the court to appoint the public defender. If that doesn't work, talk with the DA about diversion etc.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/10/2012
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
Neither. Selling alcohol to a minor is not a drug case, so you are not eligible for diversion. Your best bet is to hire a lawyer who may be able to talk the DA into dismissing/reducing the case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/9/2012
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Like the crime of sex with a minor, selling alcohol to a minor is a strict liability crime. This means that the fact that you made a mistake or accidentally sold to a minor is irrelevant. Before you accept a diversion program, make sure you will not suffer further consequences from your employer - or if this is your business - the loss of your liquor license. These are very important things to consider before pleading guilty to this offense.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/9/2012
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Without funds you are eligible for the services of the Public Defender. Only he can tell you whether judges in your county will grant pre-trial diversion and/or deferred prosecution. Both are possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/9/2012
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law | Mark A. Broughton
    If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer the court will appoint one to represent you in a misdemeanor case. Perhaps the charge can be reduced to an infraction and you will only have to pay a small fine or perform some community service. In any event, the attorney you get will know what the options are in your jurisdiction. Good Luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/9/2012
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    You can't negotiate those things by yourself. If you can't afford a private lawyer, get the PD. If you needed a root canal, you wouldn't take a screwdriver and start digging into your own molar. This is as complicated, with more serious downsides. People are generally fools when they represent themselves.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/9/2012
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